Appointing an interior designer is a daunting task. Whether he can align your visions and able to bring your dreams into reality in time, is a big issue. It is better to resolve all such worries at the initial stage only. Here are 10 key questions that one should ask before hiring one.
1. If they can work within your budget
This is the most obvious question, and one should ask this first. Never get swept in the excitement of decorating your house or office. You should be clear about what you are going to pay and your expectations. This will prevent you from surprises before being knee-deep with expenses in the middle of the project.
When you discuss such things with the potential designer, you have the flexibility to change. This will help you to be more realistic about the cost and the décor you can get.
2. What are the fees involved?
The interior designers charge differently. Some designers charge by hours and some charge a flat fee for the project. Both of these have their benefits and demerits.
Being a flexible method, charging hourly allows easy changes in the project. But, it may cost you more. Although the cost is fixed in flat fees, you have to enter into separate order for making changes. Be sure about the fees before hiring the interior designer.
3. What is the timeline?
Once the scope is finalized, ask how much time it will require to complete the project. This is vital to stay realistic. If your project involves a new home; ask specifically how long it will take to move in. He should be able to define the timeline of each stage of the project. This will help you watch the progress.
In case you are in a rush, explain that to the interior designer clearly. Remember, “Rome was not built in a day.” So, you may have to waive out something if you are in a hurry.
4. Is post-installation support available?
The interior designers are mostly hired for turn-key projects that include both design and execution. They also provide design consultancy services. It involves delivering the designs and drawings to the client and implementation is the client’s responsibility.
If you like to opt for the consultancy service, you may get stuck with implementation. Be clear, if they will provide support in such cases.
5. What is their signature style?
Claiming to be a specialist in everything does not make sense. Specializing in every design styles is impossible. So, you must know where they shine before you hire them. This is vital. If you prefer a modern minimalist décor, hiring a Mediterranean style specialist would not work.
You should, therefore, go through their portfolio before you entrust the job. This will give you a fabulous idea of the various projects completed by them.
6. Is there any testimonial available?
Testimonials tell you about the previous experiences of the designers. Ask for these to know the clients’ opinion of them. This will help you justify what they claim in their advertisements. Also see, if you can get any recommendation for them in your known circle.
7. What is the communication process?
Communication is immensely important for the successful execution of any project. Ask clearly if they would accommodate your special communication requirements. Most of the designers would be happy to do that. Generally, they oblige with both verbal and visual communication. Tell them that the extent of interaction may be increased with the progress of the project. They have to provide 3D models, if necessary. This will help you know the project better and clear all misunderstanding.
8. Can they provide unusual pieces?
Usually, the interior designers are very knowledgeable and have a solid network of contacts. Maybe you have some special requirements for the interior decoration. Ask if they can source unusual art pieces when you wish to make a real statement. Generally, the interior designers replace any art piece for till the customer is satisfied. But, this is a scary way to do things. Inform them beforehand if you have any extra-ordinary thing in mind.
9. Will they involve in lighting?
Commonly, lighting designers provide architectural fittings. The interior designers offer the decorative lighting only. However, experienced interior designers have an excellent understanding of the illumination process and sometimes to do the job themselves. They also have contacts with the lighting designers for executing turn-key projects.
Make sure if they will do the same for your project.
10. How will they damp noises?
No matter if it is a residential or commercial interior, reducing the noise level uplifts the environment. Introducing acoustic felt panels in the interior is an excellent decorative to minimize reverberations. When you use felt it makes the interior elegant and imparts a calming effect as well.
The felt wall panels are available in a plethora of designs and color. You can get them as modular tiles, screens, suspended solutions, etc. Their super-soft surface provides a beautiful experience for the inmates taking them away in a quiet world.
You can have the felt wall covering customized in some ways for your special décor needs. Other than providing a luxurious perfection, these also help to keep the interior fresh. Made from felt, ‘Soundcore’ material and acoustic fiber these are impact resistant and can absorb shocks.
Other than covering the walls, using the felt ceiling tiles imparts a dramatic effect. These are non-toxic and non-allergenic. Their maintenance is also easy. You can clean the wall panels with a vacuum cleaner or by light dusting.
Ask them to use a custom felt wall panel for revamping the interior.
Choosing a professional interior designer is the best for transforming a building into a beautiful place. Asking these questions will give you a plan about their performance and build an intimate relationship. This will be a great leap towards successful completion of the project.